Superhero Lore in Hip Hop

Superhero comics are inherently archetypal, so what conclusions can we draw from superhero references in Hip Hop? MF DOOM styles himself as a supervillain, borrowing his persona from the Fantastic Four’s Archnemesis, Viktor Von Doom. He creates narratives for DOOM by splicing together soundbites from classic children’s shows, especially superhero cartoons. Several members of the Wu-Tang Clan borrow from superheros instead. Ghostface Killah (who has long associated himself with Iron Man/Tony Stark) recently released "36 Seasons" a hip-hopera about a vigilante anti-hero who battles crooked cops in New York. Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck teamed up with 7L & Esoteric to form the supergroup CZARFACE, performing music about a hero of the same name. CZARFACE uses narrative sequences reminiscent of DOOM, but with original material instead of repurposed voice-overs. All three groups discuss similar topics, so why would DOOM choose to embody a villain and Ghostface and CZARFACE embody the hero (especially when the latter two also discuss themselves in terms of being villains as well?

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